Last updated: July 10. 2014 1:11PM - 996 Views
By - acavenaugh@civitasmedia.com

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MORVEN — This small town of about 500 people will get a much-needed police car after county commissioners decided they’d rather donate a used sheriff’s cruiser to Morven police than auction it off to the public.

Anson County commissioners voted at their regular monthly meeting Monday night in Wadesboro to donate “one of the best” sheriff’s office surplus vehicles to the town of Morven for its police department.

During the meeting, Morven Mayor Houston Pratt asked for one of the old sheriff’s office patrol cars for the town of Morven. He told the board that Morven was a “poor town” and needed a better patrol vehicle.

Before the vote, County Manager Lawrence Gatewood reminded the board of its longstanding policy of selling surplus vehicles and equipment on GovDeals.com, and recommended that they maintain that policy. However, the commissioners approved the transfer of “the best surplus vehicle” from the sheriff’s office, including lights, siren and radio, free of charge to the town of Morven for use by the police department.

“We understand the economic conditions in the town of Morven and in other towns in the county, and respect the board decision and support it,” Gatewood said. “But we still believe that it’s in the best interest of the county and its citizens to be consistent in the disposition of surplus property and to return to board’s policy of selling all surplus vehicles and other equipment though GovDeals.”

In 2007, the Anson County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution authorizing surplus county property to be sold by the online auction service. This was done to maximize revenue, simplify the process of disposing of surplus property and to give all citizens a chance to bid on items. Since 2009-10, the county has netted $223,856.75 from sales of surplus vehicles and equipment through GovDeals, Gatewood said.

“The proceeds have been used to help fund various capital projects, cover some operating expenses and keep our taxes low,” he added. “We even sold three of the old ‘Welcome to Anson County’ signs on GovDeals. Local citizens paid $100 each for the raggedy old signs that could have ended up in the landfill.”

To Gatewood’s recollection, and the recollection of County Clerk Bonnie Huntley, the county has never before given a vehicle free of charge to any other municipality, individual or organization.

In other business at the commissioners’ July meeting, the commissioners voted to proceed with a one-quarter cent sales tax referendum and approved a resolution designating the proceeds to the schools to be used for teacher supplement and classroom equipment.

Commissioners also gave instructions to County Attorney Scott Forbes in negotiating a contract for the IT department.

Commissioner Jarvis Woodburn was appointed the voting delegate to the N.C. Association of County Commissioners conference in August.

During his monthly report to the board, County Manager Gatewood welcomed Dr. Fred Thompson and Dr. Kathleen Zeller to the health department. Dr. Thompson will serve as the new Health Director and Dr. Zeller is the physician. Gatewood also welcomed new employees, Wendy Burr, Ashley Unruh, David Townsend and Wilbert Cash.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Elizabeth Schafer spoke to the commissioners about her desire to open a winery and restaurant on her property in the county. The commissioners asked the county attorney to research the steps necessary in order to place the sale of beer and wine in the unincorporated areas of the county on the ballot for the Nov. 4, 2014 General Election.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Anson County Board of Commissioners is planned for Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. in the commissioners’ meeting room at the Anson County Government Center.

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